After a 247Sports report titled “Early buzz on Michigan football job” listed Butch Jones as one of four names that there has been buzz about to replace Michigan coach Brady Hoke, assuming Hoke is fired, Jones was asked if he was surprised by it all after practice on Tuesday.
“It’s not even worth discussing,” Jones said. “There’s no validity to it. I’m not going to waste your time or my time commenting on that. I think you’ll know how I feel.”
RTI looked at five reasons we don’t think Jones would end up at Michigan earlier on Tuesday.
Quarterback talk: When asked after practice about his quarterback situation heading into this weekend, Butch Jones made it apparent that Josh Dobbs is currently the leader in the clubhouse. Jones said he has seen an added level of confidence and consistency from Dobbs so far this week and that he feels comfortable with playing the sophomore against South Carolina.
“I want him to be Josh Dobbs,” Jones said. “I don’t want him to be anybody that he is not. He does have some swagger, he does have his own confidence in the way he presents himself. So for me to stand here and tell you he doesn’t, I mean, he is Josh Dobbs, our players respect him for that because he has confidence and he displays it. He just displays it in other ways as well.”
While it appears that Josh Dobbs will indeed get the start against the Gamecocks on Saturday, the future of senior quarterback Justin Worley remains unclear. Jones said that Worley was able to throw the football “a little bit better” today than he did last week, but made it seem like the odds of him playing this weekend were slim at best.
When asked about the potential of Josh Dobbs starting the remainder of the games, Jones made it emphatically clear that they would try to use Justin Worley in this weekend’s game and other games moving forward if he can get healthy. “If he’s ready to play (moving forward), then he’s going to play.” Jones said.
This could be a bit of gamesmanship by Jones so as not to give anyone a heads up as to who the starting quarterback will be, or it could be an honest look into who he feels more comfortable with at quarterback right now. There really isn’t any way of knowing at this point, but if the game were being played today, it doesn’t seem that Justin Worley’s shoulder is healed enough to allow him to see any type of significant action.
Croom quietly makes an impact: Jason Croom might be pretty far down your list when you’re talking about impact players from the Alabama game. He had zero receptions, but Jones pointed to him as somebody who quietly and unselfishly helped the team win:
“I thought they played an unselfish game. I think the individual who was really a great illustration of that was Jason Croom. I know he didn’t have any catches. He didn’t have any statistics, but he had a lot of statistics when it comes to helping us perform. He blocked exceptionally well. He opened up some routes for others to have catches. I thought he played one of his better games. You don’t see it on the stat sheet, but I was very, very proud of him. We’re going to need that effort moving forward. But again, just being able to make plays. When the ball is in the air, go make a play, catch in advance. We’re going to need that moving forward.”
• Jalen Hurd said he felt as healthy as ever and got back to running angry against Alabama. He said it was special for the run game to get back on track against such a quality defense. He also mentioned that having Dobbs in the game helped the running game because the defense had to play him more honestly: “Dobbs did a great job giving the whole offense a different look. He did a great job of running, and you know, that opened things up a little for me, and the offensive line did a great job blocking, as well, along with the wide receivers. They made great blocks on the perimeter on Marlin’s long run and many of my runs.”
• Jacob Gilliam said he played 83 snaps despite his torn ACL against Alabama. Said he didn’t really think about it and thought he held up well: “It was my first full game back, and really the first full game I’ve played all year since I didn’t play the full game against [Utah State]. It was a little different. I’ve just got that normal game soreness. It’s just kind of one of those things where you get a feel for it – you know, you’re a little more winded, but nothing you can’t handle.”
• Corey Vereen called every game the rest of the season “winnable.” Several players talked about “emptying the tank” this week knowing they have a bye week coming up after the South Carolina game.